Forbes.com has just released their findings on America’s most toxic cities. Here’s they are:
- New York
- Baton Rouge
- Los Angeles
- St. Louis
- Salt Lake City
This research drew upon the findings of the EPA Air Quality Index data for 80 metropolitan areas plus the EPA’s Toxics Release Inventory and Sperling’s Best Places index on air quality, water quality and Superfund sites.
What do these cities have in common? One is their heavy dependence upon gasoline cars for commuting. For example, approximately 95% of daily commuters in St. Louis use automobiles.
Another is being located near oil and chemical facilities like Houston, Baton Rouge, Salt Lake and Philadelphia. And of course Bakersfield sits upon a major oil field.
Why is this important to you? First, we all confront rising health care costs. Numerous studies are emerging that link emissions to the rising health care costs tied to chronic health disease. An obvious path for reducing health care costs is to reduce emissions.
Another is the economics of fossil fuels. They are not getting cheaper. Our reliance upon fossil fuels is not only a health issue but also an issue of economics. How much longer can America continue on without a transition plan into higher efficiency technologies and alternative fuels? Achieving this result holds the potential of restoring our economy’s competitiveness, lowering household out-of-pocket costs and improving our health.